Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LID: Time to Get Your #Ninja On!

ninja waitress by Brandon Daniel

December 5

Ninja Day

Happy International Ninja Day. International Ninja Day began in 2003 by the website Ninjaburger in conjunction with the December 5, 2003 release of The Last Samurai. Here's a scene from the movie where ninjas cause havoc on a village.

International Ninja Day is celebrated throughout out the world yet it is not widely recognized. The day is intended to celebrate the martial arts. Many people celebrate by wearing ninja masks to work or dress up like a ninja. You could also make ninja cookies, ninja crafts and even play ninja games. Just don't kill anyone today, alright?

Ninja Facts

Americans have been long fascinated by the ninja. I must admit of all the areas of martial arts, ninjas  are my favorite. It can be hard to distinguish fact from legend surrounding the many ninja myths out there. Despite the legends, not much is known about ninja history. Here are some interesting facts we do know about ninjas. 
Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety of Our Country (Honchô nijûshi-kô)
Public Domain - 1842 to 1843
  • According to Japanese folklore, the first ninja was Prince Yamato Takeru. You can read his story here:  
  • 522 AD -  Japanese monks begin to practice Nonuse, the art of stealth. They begin to trade information between the Japanese ruling classes. The priests were nonviolent and were considered to be "mystics"
  • 645 AD - Japanese priests perfect their fighting skills. They are being harassed by the central Japanese government. In response,  they acknowledge their nonuse abilities and it becomes well known throughout Japan. 
  • 794 - 1185 AD - Japan is at it Imperial peak. Military clans begin to rise up towards the end of this period. There are many uprisings. Families fight against each other in order to overthrow the empire.  The Hogan Rebellion leads Japan towards Feudalism. Practitioners of nonuse are in high demand during this time. 
  • 850 AD - the Chinese Tang dynasty begins to fall. Some of the Tang generals escape to Japan where they brought new fighting tactics and philosophies that were adapted by the ninja. 
  • 1020 AD - Chinese monks arrive in Japan brining their own fighting techniques and medical practices with them. The techniques had originated in India and made their way across Tibet to China.  The Chinese monks teach their ways to the Japanese warrior-monks, or yamabushi.
  • 1161 AD -  Daisuke Togakure was born into a Samurai family. He would renounce his bushido code (the honorary code of the Samurai) and with Kain Doshi, a Chinese warrior monk, create  a new form of warfare known as ninjutsu. It was a blend of Chinese and native Japanese fighting styles with no rules. They started the first ninja school. Ninja schools are known as Togakureryu
  • Ninjas were covert agents or mercenaries in Ancient Japan. Their duties included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination, and open combat in certain situations. While the Samuri was honor bound by strict guidelines the ninjas were not. This made them the perfect agent for an Japanese ruler who needed something done in secret.  They were most likely recruited from the lowest class.
  • Women were also ninjas and were very good it.
  • You can learn more about ninjas at

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